10 Days of Giving: Participating Businesses and Schools in the Winona Area

Thank you to the following businesses and schools for participating in the 2015 10 Days of Giving food drive. To donate to this year’s 10 Days of Giving, place the non-perishable food items in a bag under the lobby Christmas tree at any Winona Merchants Bank location, or in the collection barrel at any Winona Area School or participating business. Monetary donations also encouraged.

Bluffview Montessori School
Central Lutheran Church Child Care
Community Kids Preschool
Cotter High School
Cotter Junior High School
Goodview Elementary School
Hope Lutheran School
Jefferson Elementary School
Lewiston-Altura Elementary School
Lewiston-Altura High School
Lewiston-Altura Intermediate School
Living Light Children’s Ministry
Madison Elementary School
Redeemer Lutheran Preschool
Ridgeway Community School
Riverway Learning Community
Rollingstone Community School
St. Charles Elementary School
St. Martin’s Lutheran School
St. Mary’s Primary School
St. Matthew’s Lutheran School
St. Stanislaus Elementary School
Washington-Kosciusko Elementary School
Winona Area Learning Center
Winona Middle School
Winona Senior High School

A&W Restaurants
Acoustic Cafe
Acuity Brands
Adventure Cycle and Ski
Affinity Plus
Affordable Septic Service
Alliant Castings
Altra Federal CU
American Legion Post 9
Autowerks Tire & Tune
Baby Bean
Baker Shoes
Bay State Milling
Behrens Inc
Benchmark Electronics Inc
Beno’s Cheese & Deli
Best Toy Shop
Bloedow Bakery
Blooming Grounds
Bluff Country Co-op
Boardwalk Tanning and Fitness
Brian’s Toys
Brookdale Winona
Bub’s Brewing Co.
C.D. Corporation
City of Goodview
City of Winona – City Hall
Clean Sweep Chimney Service
Coca-Cola Bottling Company
Coldwell Banker Skeels/Moore & Associates
Companion Animal Care Center
CPI Binani, Inc.
Cross Fit Warrior Risen
Culligan Water Conditioning
Cytec Fiberite
Dahl Automotive Winona Inc
Dahl Buick Pontiac GMC
Dairy Queen
DCM Tech
Diocese of Winona
Edge Church
Edward Jones
Engrav’s Decorating Center
Enlightened Equipment
Equality Die Casting
Express Employment Professionals
Fastenal Company
Fawcett-Junker Funeral Homes
Flowers On Broadway
Goltz Pharmacy
Goodson Manufacturing Inc.
Goodview Activity Group
Gordie’s BP
Green Mill Restaurant & Bar
Ground Round Restaurant
Gunderson Lutheran Eye Clinic
Hal Leonard Publishing
Harley Davidson Shop of Winona
Hiawatha Broadband Communications
Holiday Inn Express & Suites
Insty Prints
Jefferson’s Pub & Grill
Kendell Lumber
Key Real Estate
Knitcraft Corporation
Kwik Trip Stores
La Boutique
La Crosse Mail and Print Solutions
Ledebuhr Meats
McDonald’s “Amberwin LLC”
Merchants Bank
Midtown Foods
Midwest Metal Products
Miller Ingenuity
Minnesota State Southeast Technical College
Mississippi Welders Modern Ready Mix
Mugby Junction
Peerless Chain
Perfect Fit Plus Size Consignment LLC
Pet Medical Center
Pieces of the Past
Plaza Hotel
Plumbers Mechanical Group LLC
Quality Vac & Sew
River Hills Dental
Riverport Inn & Suites
Riverside Electronics
Rogan’s Shoes
RTP Company
Saint Mary’s Press
Schott Distributing
Senior Friendship Center
Snap Fitness
Sole Sport
St. Casimir
St. Mary’s University
Sugar Loaf Ford
Sugar Loaf Senior Living
Taco Johns
Technigraph Corporation
The Kensington
Thern, Inc
Volkmann Appliance
Ward’s Riverside Cabins
Water Systems Company
Waterfront Family Dentistry
Watkins, Inc
Watlow Controls
Wellingtons Pub & Grill
We-no-nah Canoe
Willet Hauser Architectural Glass
WinCraft Inc
Winona Agency
Winona Bowl
Winona County
Winona Daily News
Winona Elks Lodge
Winona Family Dental Care
Winona Family YMCA
Winona Health
Winona Homes/Premier Homes
Winona ORC
Winona Public Library
Winona Rental
Winona Sandwich Co
Winona State University
Winona Workforce

Join Us for the 10 Days of Giving

In its first 26 years, the “10 Days of Giving” food drive has collected 2,608,182 pounds of food through monetary donations and the donations of non-perishable food items. We need your help this year to meet our goal: To collect enough food to ensure that nobody in the counties we serve will go hungry during the winter.

Please join us in the following Merchants Bank communities for events to support the 10 Days of Giving (click on a specific location for more information). Also, keep in mind that typically the best way to support your local food shelf is through cash donations because of local food shelves’ buying power. Thank you for your generosity!

Cannon FallsCottage GroveHastingsRed WingSt. CharlesWinona

Cannon Falls
December 1-10: Change Collection – Merchants Bank staff will be collecting your loose change in their lobby with the donations going to Cannon Falls Food Shelf.

Cottage Grove

  • December 1-10 – Cottage Grove will be holding its “10 Days of Giving” to benefit the Friends in Need Food Shelf. You can bring cash donations or toiletry items to Merchants Bank in Cottage Grove or any participating school or business.
  • December 10, Holiday Train
    Date/Time – Thursday, December 10 at 5:45 p.m.
    Location – South of the Sieben Bridge, in front of the Youth Service Bureau.
    Don’t miss performances by Doc Walter and Kira Isabella. Santa Claus will stop by and there will be entertainment, snacks and refreshments for everyone.


  • December 1-10 – Hastings will be holding its “10 Days of Giving” to benefit Hastings Family Service. Bring cash or food donations to Merchants Bank in Hastings or any participating school or business.
  • December 9Holiday Train
    Date/Time – Wednesday, December 9 at 8:30 p.m.
    Location – Canadian Pacific Depot, 500 E. Second Street.
    Don’t miss performances by Doc Walter and Kira Isabella. Santa Claus will stop by and there will be entertainment, snacks and refreshments for everyone.

Red Wing
December 1-10: Change Collection – Merchants Bank staff will be collecting your loose change in their lobby with the donations going to Red Wing Area Food Shelf.

St. Charles
December 1-10: St. Charles will be holding its “10 Days of Giving” to benefit Southeastern Minnesota Resource Center. Bring cash or food donations to Merchants Bank in St. Charles or any participating school or business.


  • December 1-10 – To give a gift of food:
    • Drop off items at Merchants Bank in Winona, Goodview or Lakeside or any participating school or business.
    • Mail a donation to Merchants Bank, 102 East Third Street, Winona, MN 55987, attn: “10 Days of Giving.”
    • Donate online by going directly to the Winona Volunteer Services website. Indicate “10 Days of Giving” after entering your name.
  • December 4, Fish Fry and Bake Sale
    Time/Date – Friday, December 4 from 5:00-7:30 p.m.
    Location – Winona Elks Lodge
    For only $10, get your choice of batter-fried or broiled cod, choice of baked potato or fries, coleslaw, dinner roll and refreshments. Tickets available for purchase at Merchants Bank.
  • December 5, Classic Holiday Movie Morning
    Time/Date – Saturday, December 5 at 9:45 a.m.
    Location: Winona 7 Theatre
    See the “Polar Express” or “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”on the big screen. Tickets available at Merchants Bank: $4/person, $20/family, 5 and under free. Concessions also available for purchase.
  • December 5, Holiday Lighted Parade
    Date/Time – Saturday, December 5 at 5:30 p.m.
    Location – 6th Street in downtown Goodview.
    Come watch the Holiday Lighted Parade and bring monetary gifts or non-perishable food items to place in barrels along the parade route. Enjoy Christmas cookies and hot chocolate will be at Merchants Bank on Sixth Street. After the parade, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Elk’s Lodge..
  • December 6, Holiday Concert for the Hungry
    Date/Time – Sunday, December 6 at 2:00 p.m.
    Location – Winona State University Performing Arts Center
    The Winona State University Symphonic Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Donald Lovejoy, and the Winona State University Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Paul Vance, will perform their annual Holiday Concert. Admission  is free with the gift of food or monetary contribution.
  • December 7, Rocco’s Pizza Night
    Time/Date – Monday, December 7 from 5:00-8:00 p.m.
    Location – Rocco’s Pizza in Goodview
    Rocco’s Pizza in Goodview will be donating 10% of all sales from 5:00-8:00 p.m.
  • December 8, Culver’s Night
    Date/Time – Tuesday, December 8 from 5:00-8:00 p.m.
    Location – Culver’s of Winona
    Culver’s will be donating 10% of all sales from 5:00-8:00 p.m.
  • December 9, Holiday Train
    Date/Time – Wednesday, December 9 at 4:00 p.m.
    Location – Winona Amtrak Station.
    Canadian Pacific Railway’s “Holiday Train” will make a stop in Winona. Entertainment, cookies and refreshments will be provided. Attendees are encouraged to make a non-perishable food or monetary donation.
  • December 9, A&W Restaurant Day
    Date/Time – Wednesday, December 9, All Day
    Location – A&W Restaurant in Winona
    A&W will be donating 10% of all sales on December 9.
  • December 10, Jefferson’s day
    Date/Time – Thursday, December 10, All Day
    Location – Jefferson’s Restaurant in Winona
    Jefferson’s will be donating 10% of all sales on December 10.
  • December 10, Santa Paws
    Date/Time – Thursday, December 10 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
    Location – Merchants Bank-Downtown Winona
    Pet lovers, get your pet’s photo taken with Santa for a $10.00 donation and a non-perishable food item.


The Top Businesses that Benefit From Direct Debit


Have you ever considered using Direct Debit to collect payments from your customers? Here’s how it works: Once authorized by your customers, payments are automatically transferred from a customer bank account to your business account. It’s that easy.

Direct Debit can provide many benefits, including:

  • Quicker access to funds due to automatic, electronic transfer
  • Eliminating the time and headache of reminding customers to make a payment
  • Saving money by reducing the cost of collecting, depositing and reconciling checks
  • Ability to create more accurate forecasts for income and cash flow

Businesses that get the most benefit from Direct Debit are typically those that collect regular payments from the same customers, for example:

  • Property managers or renters for monthly rent, lawn care or snow removal, heat or other payments.
  • Health centers and workout facilities for monthly or annual membership fees.
  • Churches or nonprofits for recurring contributions or donations.
  • Cities and government entities for monthly or regular utility payments, such as water.

If you would like to learn if Direct Debit could make an impact on your business, contact us today.


Help Us Support Your Local Food Shelves


Voting is open now through Thursday, December 10 for Swipe Out Hunger. Cast your vote for your local food shelf and they could receive up to a $5,000 donation. Follow the instructions below to vote:


You may place a vote for the same food shelf once a day. Nominated food shelves include:

Apple Valley and Rosemount – The Open Door
Caledonia, Lanesboro, Rushford and Spring Grove – SEMCAC Food Shelf
Cannon Falls – Cannon Falls Food Shelf
Cottage Grove – Friends in Need Food Shelf
Eau Claire – Feed My People
Hampton – Randolph Community Food Shelf
Hastings – Hastings Family Services
La Crescent – La Crescent Food Share Program
Lakeville – 360 Communities
Onalaska – The Hunger Task Force of La Crosse
Red Wing – Red Wing Area Food Shelf
St. Charles – Southeast Minnesota Rural Education & Resource Center
Winona – Winona Volunteer Services

Swipe Out Hunger is a Merchants Bank initiative to support local food shelves in our communities. Food shelves are nominated by our branches and receive a donation based on the number of votes cast through our Facebook page. The total possible donation will increase based on the number of times our customers use their Merchants Bank debit or credit cards between November 30 and December 10.


Merchants Financial Group, Inc. Increases Dividend by Three Cents Per Share Based on its Performance Through the First Three Quarters of 2015

Rod Nelson, President/CEO

Rod Nelson, President/CEO

Merchants Financial Group, Inc. (MFGI) reported net income of $10,168,380 for the first three quarters of 2015, more than $400,000 ahead of last year’s pace of $9,749,529, according to MFGI President & CEO Rod Nelson.

Based on the performance, the MFGI Board of Directors voted to increase the shareholder semiannual dividend by three cents to 53 cents per share, Nelson said. The dividend will be paid to shareholders of record as of November 20, 2015.

“The reason for the strong performance is consistent with the factors that have driven our organization over the past several years: exceptional commercial loan growth compared to our peers, mortgage volume that has exceeded our plan and sound credit quality,” Nelson said.

Nelson said the Merchants organization is performing well at all of its 21 bank locations, and he expects the positive trend to continue.

Jim Peterson Joins Merchants Bank as a Commercial and Ag Banker

Commercial Banker

Jim Peterson, Commercial and Ag Banker

Jim Peterson has joined Merchants Bank in Cannon Falls as Vice President and Commercial and Ag Banker, according to Brian Hokanson, Senior Vice President and Senior Lender for Merchants Bank.

“We believe Jim’s skills, especially in the area of ag lending, are a tremendous fit for our focus as a bank, but, more so, the right fit for our current and future customers,” Hokanson said.

Peterson has 16 years of commercial lending experience, working both in North Dakota and Minnesota. In addition to serving the needs in the Cannon Falls area, Peterson will also work with Ag customers in the Rochester area.

“The areas of focus that are important to me are also important to Merchants Bank,” Peterson said. “It has a great reputation for taking care of the immediate and long-term needs of its customers. I’m happy to be part of the team.”

Peterson is a native of North Dakota and graduate of North Dakota State University, with a degree in Agricultural Economics. He has a long history of community involvement and a love for the outdoors, including time serving on the Advisory Board for the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department. Jim and his wife, Tina, are looking forward to being active members of the Cannon Falls community.

Loans are subject to credit approval.